I’m a Saint Patrick’s Day baby…so maybe that’s why I go all out for this holiday!  But, there is so much material for young kids that I start at the beginning of March and build up the excitement.  Ireland is a land with many legends and magic.  I begin by reading some really great books and introducing the different creatures.  I also explain that leprechauns like to play pranks, but if you catch one, he will give you his gold.  (A lead in to the leprechaun traps we will be making.)  We also build a fairy house, in the hopes that we can catch one…more on that to come!

Some of my favorite books to introduce Ireland and it’s magic are Jamie O’ Rourke and the Big Potato and Fin M’Coul by Tomie De Paola.  This gets the interest in Ireland, leprechauns, giants going…and they’re fun to read with an Irish accent!  Next, I read The Selkie Girl by Susan Cooper.  Selkies are seals that become human on rare occasions.  If you steal their seal skin, they have to marry you.  The kids are fascinated by selkies, because most of them haven’t heard of them before.  I fill the classroom with books about Ireland, fairies, leprechauns, and anything else related.  At this point, the students are asking when they can read to find out more!  🙂

 

We then talk about making a fairy house.  I found some pictures online that I shared with the class and told them to bring in some things that we could use to make one, such as shoe boxes, small boxes, sticks, leaves, moss, small stones, etc.  I purposely leave the front open so the kids can see in (like a doll house) because our fairy begins to leave clues that she is moving into the house.  (I made and brought in a small doll bed, and tiny accessories, seashells, flowers…one thing each day.)  You can see lots of great examples here.  The kids literally run into the classroom to check the fairy house each day!  We will eventually “catch” the fairy…I will add details as to how you can easily make a little believable fairy magic that will amaze your class!

And now onto the pranks!  This is a lot of fun and I begin the pranks the day after the first student brings in a leprechaun trap.  I tell the class that he may have figured out that we are trying to catch him.  I begin with simple pranks such as mixing pieces to learning centers. (After all, sorting is in the curriculum!)  I place things in the classroom where they don’t belong, hang posters upside down, etc.  One of my favorite pranks is using a paint or photo editing program to change their pictures.  We have a computer program that uses student photos to sign in, so I just replace them with the edited pictures.

 

We also listen to Irish music and watch Irish dancing and the kids practice each day.
You can click the picture for the stories, songs, dancing, and videos we watch from YouTube.

 

And now onto the pranks!  This is a lot of fun and I begin the pranks the day after the first student brings in a leprechaun trap.  I tell the class that he may have figured out that we are trying to catch him.  I begin with simple pranks such as mixing pieces to learning centers. (After all, sorting is in the curriculum!)  I place things in the classroom where they don’t belong, hang posters upside down, etc.  One of my favorite pranks is using a paint or photo editing program to change their pictures.  We have a computer program that uses student photos to sign in, so I just replace them with the edited pictures.

 

I’ve tried a few different costume crafts, but the cutest is making the kids look like leprechauns with the paper plate mask.

I continue with a small prank each day until St. Patrick’s Day.  I do something small in the morning, but when the students are at lunch, playground, or special area, the classroom gets wrecked!  Chairs are over-turned, blocks all over the floor…but the two best pranks are the leprechaun footprints and the green pee in the toilet.  The student who discovers this is usually running out and screaming to tell the others that the leprechaun peed in the bathroom.  I also make sure I put footprints next to each trap and try to make it appear as though he looked into each one.

To make the footprints, I just cut a small piece of sponge in the shape of a shoe (a square heel and oval shaped front.)  You can see how I do it here.  I use the sponge instead of the small shoes…but whatever works!  🙂  Be sure to use washable paint!  The toilet prank is easy…just add a few drops of green food coloring!  There’s a picture here.

I leave a “pot” of gold aka chocolate gold coins and green Mardi Gras beads for each student.  I use a black plastic cauldron that I bought at Halloween, but you can use anything…a green bucket from the Dollar Store works.

I hope you have as much fun in March as we do!  May the road rise up to meet you!

To find out how we catch the fairy, click the picture below!  (Coming SOON!)

 

 

 

The cute frames on this page are by:  

Saint Patrick's Day Pranks, Shenanigans, and Fairy Magic by Miss Kinders. How to bring the magic of Ireland into your classroom this spring.